Yesterday I had the privilege of attending the Diocesan Schools Mass where we celebrated new staff who have joined the diocese this year. These staff are blessed by the Bishop and given a pin to wear as a welcome and an outward sign that they are part of the community of staff who continue to spread the ‘good news’ that Christ is with us in the work we do in schools.
During the Eucharist there was also a celebration of staff who have given 25 years or more to Catholic education. It set me thinking about my 37 years of work in Catholic schooling and how important the vocation of working in Catholic education has been, in particular, working with young people in schools. Being part of schools that cherish a young person’s spiritual growth as greatly as it does their growth as a learner, and as a person of community and extra-curricular, is imperative in our secular world. An education that has Christ at its centre spurs us on to be outward looking, trying always to be the ‘servant’, looking for ways to bring kindness and goodness to others. We may falter and fall but our Catholic tradition picks us up to try again once more just as Jesus showed us in his life. We are blessed in our Catholic Christian Loreto school where these outward signs of love are shared in our community.
The Bishop spoke in his homily of allowing silence into our lives so that God may enter. I thought immediately of three things. The first, that this is part of our everyday at Loreto Normanhurst. The second, of our Year 12 students who are currently on Retreat and the quiet they will experience over their days of retreat, allowing God to enter. The third thing I thought of was our daily ‘Gong’ at 12 noon each day where we stop in silence, and as a community we reflect on our lives, listen to a scripture reading, or prayer and hear about a faith of action. More and more we need to find time for silence and reflection in our busy lives. This is a challenge for us all and one I hope our parents will embrace too. Why not let the girls show us the way?
We were excited to hear that NorthConnex has joined the two parts of the new tunnel this week directly underneath Loreto Normanhurst. Last week one of the engineers asked us for a Loreto flag so they could show the importance of place as they broke through the final piece. I let her know that we would pray for the workers in this underground endeavour. Apparently the workers are thrilled that as a community we would pray for them and that we value their very hard work of subterranean tunnelling. We should have some footage very soon of the breakthrough which will be brilliant to see.
Congratulations to our students who competed at the NSW All Schools Triathlon Championships during the week. How incredible are our young women who can ride, swim and run like professionals and do their personal bests? Congratulations to all, and to those who won medals, a hearty congratulations too.
It was great to join the new Parent Association of Loreto (PAL) Committee and parents who attended the Parent Association Meeting on Wednesday night. I encourage parents to attend these meetings. There are only four per year – that means one each term. These meetings are one way for parents to hear directly from the Principal about what is happening in the school in more depth and to have immediate access to ask questions directly as well. The Parent Association do such great work to gather our community together and I thank them for their great work already this year in welcoming both our new families and our continuing families to the school for 2018.
Congratulations to Katelin Meers and Christina Chan (Class of 2017) who have been invited to exhibit in the Art North Exhibition, at the Grace Cossington-Smith Gallery on the Abbotsleigh school campus. This exhibition is showcasing bodies of work from the 2017 HSC and will include students from many schools in our immediate area. Well done to both of these ex-students.
We wish our rowing community every success as they compete in the final regatta of the Schoolgirls Head of the River at SIRC in Penrith this weekend. Rowing, as you can imagine, is a very tough sport and our students and their coaches have worked hard for the season. We wish them every success.
Show yourself at all times glad and joyful,
for almighty God loves a cheerful giver.
– Mary Ward
With prayers of peace and hope,
Ms Barbara Watkins